Madeleine McCann’s mother has described the tenth anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance as a “horrible marker of time, stolen time”.
In a message on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page, Kate McCann added: “We are bracing ourselves for the next couple of weeks.
“It’s likely to be stressful and painful and more so given the rehashing of old ‘stories’, misinformation, half-truths and downright lies which will be doing the rounds in the newspapers, social media and ‘special edition’ TV programmes.”
Three-year-old Madeleine vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on 3 May, 2007.
Kate and her husband Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have always vowed to never give up hope of finding their daughter.
In the message Mrs McCann said they “couldn’t even begin to consider anything in terms of years” when their daughter first disappeared.
She wrote: “Ten years – there’s no easy way to say it, describe it, accept it. And now here we are... Madeleine, our Madeleine – ten years.
“Most days are similar to the rest – another day. May 3rd 2017 – another day. But ten years – a horrible marker of time, stolen time.”
However, she insisted “there will always be hope”.
Mrs McCann, 49, said the two themes that seem most appropriate as they reach the ten-year mark are perseverance and gratitude. She said: “We will go on, try our hardest, never give up and make the best of the life we have.
“We consider ourselves immensely fortunate to have received the love, solidarity and support from so many kind and decent people over the last decade.
“There have been many challenges and low points along the way but the warmth, encouragement and positivity we have experienced from the ‘quiet majority’ has undoubtedly sustained us and maintained our faith in human goodness.
“And while that is there, there will always be hope.”
The message, signed by both Mrs McCann and her 48-year-old husband, concluded: “Thank you so much from all of our family.”
Mrs McCann described media appearances as “draining and on occasion, unhelpful to the only thing we want, finding Madeleine”.
She continued: “They need to have a purpose.
“We could spend all our time and energy trying to defend ourselves by correcting inaccuracies and lies, but then we would have no strength left to look for Madeleine, look after our other children and to live our life.”
Mrs McCann expressed hope that “those reporting on the ‘story’ over the next couple of weeks will have a conscience”.
She said: “Even if little consideration for Gerry and me is shown, they will at least bear in mind the effect such unfounded and unwarranted negativity could have on our other children – and of course Madeleine.”